March 2018
News and Views for
    Catechetical and  
         RCIA Leaders 
Published by  
The Catechetical Office
  Department of Youth Faith Formation 
Archdiocese of New York  
This Month
For All in the Ministry
Catechumenate (RCIA_
Adult Confirmation
Webmaster's Column
New York Catholic Bible School

Save the Date 

Saturday, June 16
NY Catholic Bible Summit
Registration Opens April 15 

Of Special Note   


  NYC Public Schools Sex Education Mandate  


Columns & Quick Links


Dear Director/Coordinator,                                             
     During this Lenten season, I have had the joy to encounter many directors/coordinators of religious education and of the RCIA at various retreat days/evenings and meetings. It is always a consolation for me to meet you and to be inspired by your witness and dedication to your ministry. More  
For All in the Ministry
Save the Date... 
...and make your plans to attend the Ninth Annual  New York Catholic Bible Summit: "Live the Gospel of Joy." Saturday, June 16, at the New York Catholic Center. Registration opens April 15.

Directors and coordinators of religious education, along with pastors and catechists, can have all the offerings and news of the Catchetical Office on their smartphones and tablets. The new Catechetical Office App, "Catechetical," available free at Google Play or the App Store, was created by the Catechetical Office webmaster, Jim Connell.


Movies that might interest you 
Right in time for the Easter, here are two films you might want to consider. "Paul the Apostle of Christ" imagines an encounter between St. Luke the evangelist and St. Paul as the latter awaits his execution in Rome.  "Summer in the Forest" tells the story of L'Arche, the commune created by Jean Vanier for those who are developmentally challenged, and its first residents. Just click on the film titles for more details and preview trailers.

Visit our website 
Have you checked out the Catechetical Office website today? There are all sorts of informative and enlightening webinars and other learning opportunities, plus up-to-date information on all things catechetical. Be sure to visit
Catechumenate (RCIA) 
Spring Institute April 14  
RCIA Spring Institute
Regina Coeli Church (School Building)
2 Harvey Street, Hyde Park, NY12538               
Course: Methodology for the RCIA
Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10am - 4pm
These institutes offer opportunities for parish RCIA leaders, team members, and catechists to take the Catechist Formation course titled: Methodology for the Catechumente (RCIA) which covers the goals and history of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the order and the ministries needed for the Catechumenate, methods for evangelizing, and liturgical catechesis. Experiences of a Rite of Acceptance, Rite of Sending, Dismissal Catechesis, and a Scrutiny will be offered. The RCIA Winter/Spring Institutes are available at no charge to all participants. More details and registration information are here.

RCIA Easter Celebration Days
Come join us for an Easter celebration of praise and thanksgiving for all those who were fully initiated at the Easter Vigil, for those who where received into the Catholic Church, for those Catholics who completed their sacramental initiation and for all those who accompanied them throughout the Catechumenate (RCIA) process. At the following sites:
Sunday, April 15, 3:00 - 5:00 pm: Church of Our Lady of Pity, SI
Sunday, April 22, 3:00 - 5:00 pm: Church of St. Agnes, Manhattan
Sunday, April 29, 3:00 - 5:00 pm: Maryknoll (Fathers and Brothers Building, Ossining.
Find more information, including registration here.

Adult Confirmation 
Classes set for sites in Manhattan, Ulster and Westchester 
The Archdiocesan Adult Confirmation Program is designed to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation adults (18 years or older) who have been baptized, received their First Holy Communion, and have attended either parish religious education classes or a Catholic school.     
     Often, due to circumstances beyond their control, people miss out on this sacrament. Catechetical and RCIA leaders often encounter parishioners, parents, friends or relatives who would like to be confirmed.
Classes at St. Joseph Church in New Paltz start in April. Schedules, requirements and other information, including dates and locations for the Confirmation Masses are available here.  

By Jim Connell, Webmaster

Each year on the feast of St. Francis de Sales (January 24), patron of writers and journalists, the pope releases his message for the upcoming World Communications Day.  WCD resulted from Vatican II's Decree on Social Communications (Inter Mirifica). Celebrated on the Sunday before Pentecost (this year on May 13), Pope Francis chose the theme, "The Truth will set you Free." It is written in response to the phenomenon of "fake news."  It is apropos to what we do as catechetical leaders as communicators of the Good News. 
     Pope Francis is challenging us to see truth in terms of relationship.  He writes, "An impeccable argument can indeed rest on undeniable facts, but if it is used to hurt another and to discredit that person in the eyes of others, however correct it may appear, it is not truthful".  In other words, truth is relational.  Truth seeks communion.
     As we journey through this Lenten season, we might take stock of how we communicate the truth.  How do we communicate with our pastor, colleagues, catechists, parishioners, and children?  Are we "fake" or authentic?  When we express the truth, do we do so with love?  Do we use the truth to foster bonds of love and communion?  Pope Francis is certainly challenging to "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) and use the truth to form bonds of love with one another. 
     When you read Pope Francis' full message, you will find a prayer patterned on the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, " Lord, Make me an Instrument of Your Peace" which gives all of us food for reflection.  Here is Pope Francis' message 
New York Catholic Bible School
 The New York Catholic Bible School, which is part of the Catechist Formation program, provides Levels 3 and 4 Catechist Certification.
  If you are a catechist who has completed Levels 1 and 2 OR you are a director or coordinator of religious education and have completed the Catechetical Leadership Program, you are eligible for a significant discount. Your tuition will be $50 per trimester, three trimesters a year. There is no registration fee.
   Note that the Bible School welcomes all adults, not just those in the catechetical ministry. For these persons, there is an annual registration fee of $35; tuition is $150 per trimester. 

First-Year Class now forming in Orange County  
 Visit the Bible School website for more on this program and then complete either an  "I'm Interested" or "I'm Ready to Apply" form on line. Be sure to indicate the locale in which you are interested. If you have any questions, contact Maureen McKew, the director.